“Consider it as joy when you suffer for what is right. God will balance the scales in all things.”~TB
Through the Fire
If we believe that the Bible is accurate and true, we must accept the trouble that is a byproduct of following God’s will in our lives. When you are working for the Lord, giving Him your best, don’t be surprised when evil people seek to throw you in the fire. While it is human to want to crawl out of the pit, fearing for your safety, rest assured God is with you, keeping you from being burned.
In your time of waiting for man-made judgment take comfort in knowing that God has declared you not guilty on all accounts. The devil will always make your waiting time appear more dire and severe than it truly is. Looking back at certain trials of my life while the waiting period was insanely frustrating, scary, and uncertain to my eyes, I realize as I sit here today, I was never harmed! So, if you are working for the Lord, being a humble servant, opposition and persecution are par for the course but know that God has the final say in the end and He will restore all that and more to those who remain faithful.
Are you not guilty or are you falsely accusing those who are?
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1“Run for your lives, you people of Benjamin! Get out of Jerusalem! Sound the alarm in Tekoa! Send up a signal at Beth-hakkerem! A powerful army is coming from the north, coming with disaster and destruction.
2O Jerusalem, you are my beautiful and delicate daughter— but I will destroy you!
3Enemies will surround you, like shepherds camped around the city. Each chooses a place for his troops to devour.
4They shout, ‘Prepare for battle! Attack at noon!’ ‘No, it’s too late; the day is fading, and the evening shadows are falling.’
5‘Well then, let’s attack at night and destroy her palaces!’”
6This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “Cut down the trees for battering rams. Build siege ramps against the walls of Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, for she is wicked through and through.
7She spouts evil like a fountain. Her streets echo with the sounds of violence and destruction. I always see her sickness and sores.
8Listen to this warning, Jerusalem, or I will turn from you in disgust. Listen, or I will turn you into a heap of ruins, a land where no one lives.”
9This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “Even the few who remain in Israel will be picked over again, as when a harvester checks each vine a second time to pick the grapes that were missed.”
10To whom can I give warning? Who will listen when I speak? Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear. They scorn the word of the LORD . They don’t want to listen at all.
11So now I am filled with the LORD ’s fury. Yes, I am tired of holding it in! “I will pour out my fury on children playing in the streets and on gatherings of young men, on husbands and wives and on those who are old and gray.
12Their homes will be turned over to their enemies, as will their fields and their wives. For I will raise my powerful fist against the people of this land,” says the LORD .
13“From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests, they are all frauds.
14They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.
15Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them,” says the LORD .
16This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’
17I posted watchmen over you who said, ‘Listen for the sound of the alarm.’ But you replied, ‘No! We won’t pay attention!’
18“Therefore, listen to this, all you nations. Take note of my people’s situation.
19Listen, all the earth! I will bring disaster on my people. It is the fruit of their own schemes, because they refuse to listen to me. They have rejected my word.
20There’s no use offering me sweet frankincense from Sheba. Keep your fragrant calamus imported from distant lands! I will not accept your burnt offerings. Your sacrifices have no pleasing aroma for me.”
21Therefore, this is what the LORD says: “I will put obstacles in my people’s path. Fathers and sons will both fall over them. Neighbors and friends will die together.”
22This is what the LORD says: “Look! A great army coming from the north! A great nation is rising against you from far-off lands.
23They are armed with bows and spears. They are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like a roaring sea as they ride forward on horses. They are coming in battle formation, planning to destroy you, beautiful Jerusalem. ”
24We have heard reports about the enemy, and we wring our hands in fright. Pangs of anguish have gripped us, like those of a woman in labor.
25Don’t go out to the fields! Don’t travel on the roads! The enemy’s sword is everywhere and terrorizes us at every turn!
26Oh, my people, dress yourselves in burlap and sit among the ashes. Mourn and weep bitterly, as for the loss of an only son. For suddenly the destroying armies will be upon you!
27“Jeremiah, I have made you a tester of metals, that you may determine the quality of my people.
28They are the worst kind of rebel, full of slander. They are as hard as bronze and iron, and they lead others into corruption.
29The bellows fiercely fan the flames to burn out the corruption. But it does not purify them, for the wickedness remains.
30I will label them ‘Rejected Silver,’ for I, the LORD, am discarding them.”
“God’s blueprint for our lives is far better than our own.”~TB
Pursuing plans without consulting God is like building a house that’s not up to code. You’ll end up with a crooked foundation, busted plumbing, or worse trying to combine a faulty blueprint with someone else’s blueprint. More to the point, when we try and show our “handy work” to God, we end up offended that He doesn’t co-sign our convoluted workmanship.
Up to Code
When you’re tired of failing inspections, it’s time to go to God, the Holy Home Inspector. If you ask Him for an assessment on your blueprint, He will show you all of the ways of which your does not measure up. Instead of trying to make corrections on a faulty home, ask God for His blueprint for your life. His plans will result in a lifelong, sustainable dwelling.
Are you ready to accept your true blueprint or does shoddy workmanship cut it?
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1“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations.
2He will not shout or raise his voice in public.
3He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
4He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction. ”
5God, the LORD, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth. And it is he who says,
6“I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.
7You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.
8“I am the LORD ; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols.
9Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.”
10Sing a new song to the LORD ! Sing his praises from the ends of the earth! Sing, all you who sail the seas, all you who live in distant coastlands.
11Join in the chorus, you desert towns; let the villages of Kedar rejoice! Let the people of Sela sing for joy; shout praises from the mountaintops!
12Let the whole world glorify the LORD ; let it sing his praise.
13The LORD will march forth like a mighty hero; he will come out like a warrior, full of fury. He will shout his battle cry and crush all his enemies.
14He will say, “I have long been silent; yes, I have restrained myself. But now, like a woman in labor, I will cry and groan and pant.
15I will level the mountains and hills and blight all their greenery. I will turn the rivers into dry land and will dry up all the pools.
16I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.
17But those who trust in idols, who say, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned away in shame.
18“Listen, you who are deaf! Look and see, you blind!
19Who is as blind as my own people, my servant? Who is as deaf as my messenger? Who is as blind as my chosen people, the servant of the LORD ?
20You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don’t really listen.”
21Because he is righteous, the LORD has exalted his glorious law.
22But his own people have been robbed and plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped. They are fair game for anyone and have no one to protect them, no one to take them back home.
23Who will hear these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you in the future?
24Who allowed Israel to be robbed and hurt? It was the LORD, against whom we sinned, for the people would not walk in his path, nor would they obey his law.
25Therefore, he poured out his fury on them and destroyed them in battle. They were enveloped in flames, but they still refused to understand. They were consumed by fire, but they did not learn their lesson
“Don’t Eternalize everything that you internalize.”~TB
I’m a selfish thinker in that I see the world according to Taryn and not according to how the world sees me. At 7, I took a wrench from my dad’s toolbox, took off the training wheels and spent the day falling until I could ride a two-wheeler. At 20, I applied for a tech job at my university, paid my brother to take the knowledge test, got the job, and was promoted within a year. My world is full of doing things I ‘can’t’ do only to excel at them by putting in some effort. I’m not some miracle person, I’m just crazy enough to believe that God made me awesome. Thing is, He made you awesome too. I’ve found that a lot of people believe the nonsense that others tell them, which is heartbreaking because God has created limitless potential in ALL of us. Seriously, we all can do extraordinary things if we believe we can. The problem is, in a world/society that wants to categorize and control our narratives, you must rise above the pressure to conform to manmade standards and answer the call that God has on your life.
How do you see yourself? What do you believe about your worth or capabilities? Chances our, the negative thoughts or limiting behaviors can be traced back to some knucklehead telling you what you could or couldn’t do. Unfortunately, humans have this nasty habit of projecting insecurities onto other people, who may internalize bad assessments of their worth. If you don’t reject those wrong assessments, you can internalize them, chipping away at the truth of who you actually are. Look at the stories in the Bible; the Abrahams, the Davids, the Jacobs, The Ruths, The Amos, and the like, you will find supposed unqualified or ‘worthless’ folks who went on to do amazing things. Those people went against the grain and did what God put on their hearts. This means to me that you and I can do extraordinary things should we choose. So, the next time you think you can’t or someone has told you it’s not possible, don’t listen. Ask God to show you ‘how’ and persevere until you achieve it. Only God can see what you’re truly capable of, so don’t internally eternalize a broken man made system.
Who’s right about you; God or man?
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1“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God.
2“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the LORD has punished her twice over for all her sins.”
3Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD ! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!
4Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places.
5Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!”
6A voice said, “Shout!” I asked, “What should I shout?” “Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field.
7The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the LORD . And so it is with people.
8The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”
9O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, “Your God is coming!”
10Yes, the Sovereign LORD is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
11He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
12Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
13Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD ? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?
14Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice?
15No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand.
16All the wood in Lebanon’s forests and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough to make a burnt offering worthy of our God.
17The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing— mere emptiness and froth.
18To whom can you compare God? What image can you find to resemble him?
19Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains?
20Or if people are too poor for that, they might at least choose wood that won’t decay and a skilled craftsman to carve an image that won’t fall down!
21Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God— the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant?
22God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them.
23He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing.
24They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and they wither. The wind carries them off like chaff.
25“To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.
26Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.
27O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
28Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
30Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
“Understanding God’s Word is fairly simple. Applying it to your life, well, that’s a whole other animal.”~TB
In theory, love sacrifice, patience, long-suffering, and perseverance are lovely and beautiful concepts. When you speak them to one another, those words provide a false sense of accomplishment. In today’s society, people sing sweet nothings, as if spraying perfume on a stinky body, in an attempt to hide the foul smell. Words without deeds are empty. Many of you have filled your hearts and minds with empty rhetoric. Friends, listen carefully: as idiot people, we have subjugated those words, turning them into nouns when they really are verbs!
Love, sacrifice, patience, long-suffering, and perseverance requires DOING! You can’t just say the words and poof life is wonderful. You have to love when it’s hard. You have to be patient in tough times. You have to be long-suffering when the odds aren’t in your favor. You have to persevere when failure comes your way. Anyone can be an armchair quarterback. It takes humility in understanding that God can only help you with this verbs. You cannot overcome your sinful nature on your own.
Are you applying the verbs or do you stink under the perfume of fake words?
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1Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem.
2We put away our harps, hanging them on the branches of poplar trees.
3For our captors demanded a song from us. Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn: “Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!”
4But how can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a pagan land?
5If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget how to play the harp.
6May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth if I fail to remember you, if I don’t make Jerusalem my greatest joy.
7O LORD, remember what the Edomites did on the day the armies of Babylon captured Jerusalem. “Destroy it!” they yelled. “Level it to the ground!”
8O Babylon, you will be destroyed. Happy is the one who pays you back for what you have done to us.
9Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks!
“We all have gifts that we can fully tap into and hone, the trouble lies when we focus on the gifts of others, rather our own.”
The haves are those who keep their eyes on the prize, unyielding in the work that God has set before them. Rain or shine, they understand what is at stake when it comes to getting the job done. Publicly we see the reaping of their hard work, which looks effortless to those who are unwise.
The have-nots are those who have their eyes on everything but the prize, blaming setbacks and troubles as the reason why they have not completed their work for God. Instead, they gnash their teeth in envy and resentment, convinced that the haves are plotting against them, rather than looking in the mirror. Publicly, we seem them making every excuse as to why they’re struggling.
If you find yourself on “team Have-nots” fortunately for us, God gives us a renewed spirit each and every day. It is up to us to tap into that source, to persevere and press on in our paths. Trade up to “team Haves” today.
Are you utilizing God’s daily grace to stay on the haves team?
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Worshiping Other Gods
1If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder,
2and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,”
3you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
4It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
5That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
6If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known,
7gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other),
8do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them.
9You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people.
10Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
11Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.
12If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in
13that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known),
14then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you,
15you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock.
16You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt,
17and none of the condemned things are to be found in your hands. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors—
18because you obey the LORD your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.
“The flagship of your love boldly goes into the Spirit and Heart of God; Because your obedience, repentance, acts of faith, gifts of thanksgiving, and thoughtfulness of how much God has blessed you, is well received by God’s Mercy, Grace, Plan, and Provision.” ~ Jon Barnes
When God pilots your heart, He flies your lifestyle into galaxies unknown, like the stars in the heaven, giving you and experience that is uniquely yours. His love overshadows the evil attack upon your character, work ethic, and good deeds of faith with the love you have shown and given to others. You reap what you have sown by finishing the life course, passing the tests, and completing the graduation requirements of God’s Gift in Love.
Which flag do you fly in the camp of your heart, your flag or God’s flag of love? When you wake up to work, who do you follow, your own tail and trail or the ways of God’s Love? You and your crew will be challenged as you live for God, flying into your destiny, and walking in the path of love, because evil hates you, loathes God, and cringes at all the good you do. We tend to panic when it appears that evil will overtake us, when in fact, evil has already lost, since the beginning of time. Follow God’s plan and not the plan of man.
Evil is only an illusion so that the truth of our love for God can be tested! The fact is, all things are recycled and reclaimed into God either into heaven or into hell. If you have a wicked heart, then you will believe the devil or if you have a pure heart for God, then you will believe Him at His Word! By faith, your personal ability to properly love people is what wrestles with God and His plans to bless you. You cannot reap what you have sown if you did not bless your enemies, crew, and your loved ones, who all tend to be one in the same. God’s Orders, Words, and Love cannot be corrupted, broken or altered.
Are you following God’s Orders with the flagship of life you have been given, to reach destination Heaven or are you piloting your own ship into the ground and fire of hell?
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Jacob and Esau Make Peace
33 Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives.2 He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last.3 Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him.4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.
5 Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, “Who are these people with you?”
“These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,” Jacob replied.6 Then the servant wives came forward with their children and bowed before him.7 Next came Leah with her children, and they bowed before him. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed before him.
8 “And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?” Esau asked.
Jacob replied, “They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.”
9 “My brother, I have plenty,” Esau answered. “Keep what you have for yourself.”
10 But Jacob insisted, “No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!11 Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift.
12 “Well,” Esau said, “let’s be going. I will lead the way.”
13 But Jacob replied, “You can see, my lord, that some of the children are very young, and the flocks and herds have their young, too. If they are driven too hard, even for one day, all the animals could die.14 Please, my lord, go ahead of your servant. We will follow slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for the livestock and the children. I will meet you at Seir.”
15 “All right,” Esau said, “but at least let me assign some of my men to guide and protect you.”
Jacob responded, “That’s not necessary. It’s enough that you’ve received me warmly, my lord!”
16 So Esau turned around and started back to Seir that same day.17 Jacob, on the other hand, traveled on to Succoth. There he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was named Succoth (which means “shelters”).
18 Later, having traveled all the way from Paddan-aram, Jacob arrived safely at the town of Shechem, in the land of Canaan. There he set up camp outside the town.19 Jacob bought the plot of land where he camped from the family of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of silver.[a]20 And there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel.[b]
Stay ready in the greeting mode of good work and service so that you can deflect the negative darts thrown at you unexpectedly throughout the day.
You will throw less darts with your negative words and works when you learn to recognize and feel the pain you caused. Don’t let a dart get through your smile, positive attitude, words, and deeds to pinch your skin, face or eye. Let your defense system of love reject all the evil that is thrown your way, melting hate with kindness.
Play ball at home and practice your communication pitch with the people in front of you. Unplug and talk with them, spend quality time, you know what to do. Greet work with play and pray with every swing you take. Do the work as if God is talking to you with every move you make. Repent and slide into your first love with God. Hold on to that love, everything else is fake!
You are not rich because of your money, so change your focus to God. Use your tools better than the fools, as you manage, reflect, and travel abroad. God’s richness in life, love, truth, and liberty, cannot be confused or confined to the small compounds of your mind to understand eternity. See the moment, into the matter with God, who holds paradise and time. Greetings from God with your ticket to Heaven is your Gold and Goal of Goodness and Faithfulness.
Did you go back to the Truth of Victory, from God that is in your hand or did you let it escape from your heart and replaced it with the cares of the world in devil’s land?
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b] of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.5 The one who is victoriouswill, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the Church in Laodicea
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne,just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
“Take notice and become inspired by good people who take care of themselves, committing to their personal responsibilities to God, and proper treatment of others. They are living examples of love’s possibilities.” ~ Jon Barnes
I have learned to ignore what people say and focus on what they have done, what they are doing, and what they will possibly do, based on their character and obvious treatment of others. People who exercise their faith in practicing self improvement will change a little each day, showing great subtle progress. The eyes of God can see and measure this progress, because you can feel, observe, and follow the growth and harvest of true love being delivered in the lifestyle of responsible people.
These good people constantly work on their family home improvement projects like, staying positive, adjusting bad attitudes, keeping motivated, finding good solutions, asking great questions, listening to sound wisdom, and working with God’s solutions to balance home life. Your home life follows you to work, church, functions, schools down the street, and around the world. Your home improvement projects are quite public and noticeable to everyone.
Balance your daily focus on hitting each target project you have selected to work on. Find four things you want God to help you improve on and fix them at home first. The results will become clear when you practice what you have learned at work, school, and in public places. People know and accurately talk about who you are, even though they may lie and covet your great qualities. Give them and God something to talk about. The completion of your personal home improvement projects, paints a clear picture of how much you love God and others and the level of personal responsibility you place on getting the good job done!
How would you measure your level of responsibility to God, your family, yourself, friends, and enemies– does it reach the standard God demands from us?
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Listening and Doing
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
“Silly Laughter makes fun of the devil and your problems as you recalibrate your mind, body, and soul, praying to God and being thankful for his provision, wisdom, and sense of humor.” ~ Jon Barnes
Don’t get caught up in the hype of negative debates, topics, and issues. Focus on executing the good things, plans, goals, and instructions, that come from God. It is easy to get off task and miss deadlines for completing good work, goals, and assignments.
Silly laughter can put you back into the mood, which will keep you working on the task that is in front of you. Laugh at yourself, the devil, and your problems, while walking through the storm to safety and tranquility. Stop being so serious about everything! Now get back to work, LOL!
Smiling with Great Joy, Peace, Kindness, and Long-suffering will rest your troubled mind and ease the pain of growth, experience, and wisdom of understanding as you work in your faith with God. Your answers will work from God’s Spirit into your heart, through your mind, body, mouth, and hands to produce an amazing outcome in you life choices and lifestyle.
Are you miserable, with a full belly, bank account, along with an empty Gas Tank that God needs to fill up with Holy Spirit oil of Silly Laughter?
Enjoy Today’s Reading.
Warning to Pay Attention
2 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord,was confirmed to us by those who heard him.4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Jesus Made Fully Human
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.6 But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? 7 You made them a little[a] lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor 8 and put everything under their feet.”[b][c]
In putting everything under them,[d] God left nothing that is not subject to them.[e] Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.[f]9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honorbecause he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.[g]12 He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”[h]
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”[j]
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[k] fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
“I prefer not to walk close to the edge of the cliff in life so that I may get back up from the unexpected winds that will blow your way.” ~ Jon Barnes
Just like a drug dealer or some other evil business person, you can see and smell them coming but you cannot see the wind of activity that they are ready to use to push you over the edge. The pusher means you harm in a friendly way at first, until you are hooked on what they are pushing. There are many types of pushers.
Slavery and prostitution are cousins of exploitation that uses cheap labor, gambling, food, drugs, money, ignorance, and fear to administer the business plan of evil. Extreme capitalism of greed is the mother of this evil, with the devil being the father of lies that fuels the stories. Put your game face on and fight for your freedom in God.
Many of us are too close to the edge of the cliff and when we stumble, we expect God to fly down like and eagle to rescue us all the time. We make no room for the storm of uncertainty, which blows in all directions at any given time. As a result, we tend to treat God like a Pusher, Pimp, or Prostitute who is enslaved by our evil business plans. Twisted thinking is always on the edge of disaster, based on evil motives and intent.
Are you certain that you are praying, fasting, reading, learning, following, and doing the Good Work with God?
Enjoy the Reading.
Imitating Christ’s Humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety.29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him,30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.